Sunday, October 12, 2014
Everyone Has An Opinion - Stay At Home Moms Don't Work That Hard
Brandon went to the store and Ainsley rode with him giving me a few minutes of freedom. The other kiddos are here but they are old enough that they entertain themselves for the most part. Excited to have a few minutes of toddler-less time I sat down, grabbed the laptop and started to read a few blog posts.
I happened upon a blog entitled Stay At Home Moms Don't Work That Hard. It was full of little remarks such as "There's an entire day of freedom from the little munchkins!" and "While their husband is being chewed out by his boss, their biggest worry of the day is not burning the lasagna (assuming they can cook)." The author was kind enough to include some suggestions for the husband such as, "Make her keep a journal of everything she does. Every day.", "Make her bring you a hot lunch. Buy one of those boxes that delivery boys use to keep pizzas warm. If you live far from work and gas money for her to get there is expensive, get her a bus pass.". It then ends with "If she considers herself as an equal partner in the marriage, she should have no problem complying to the above, or getting a part-time job. If she fails to do either, then at least get her in the kitchen to make you a sandwich."
Well, I wasn't shocked when I read that it was written by a man. A man who is obviously clueless, single and has no respect for women that choose to stay at home.
I have a ton of respect for mothers that work outside of the home. They have to work 40 hours a week and then come home and to do everything that I spend my day doing. They miss out on a lot. They don't always get to see the first steps or hear the first word. Some people don't have the option of staying at home. Their days are long and their nights are full. They have the stress of home life and work life and even the guilt of not being there for every play, game and field trip.
It's hard for them but my day isn't walk in the park. I don't always have a hot meal prepared, sometimes we even have a sandwich for dinner. I know, I know, how dare I sit on my butt all day and not even have a hot meal prepared when my husband gets home from his horrible day of super hard work. I'm just horrible.
Let's take a look at my typical day. I wake up. Usually, I wake up to either a kick to the nose or being slapped in the face. And my day starts. Ainsley isn't a fan of waking up or going to bed or being awake or being asleep...do you get where I am going?? So I wake up, get beat for a minute or two and then get up. Now, most people usually get up, go pee, brush their teeth and start some coffee. Ha now that is funny. I get up, about to pee on myself and instantly hear "I want bite" see the sign for more juice and am told "want to rock". Forget about peeing..if I go to pee I can expect a sippie cup to come flying across the bathroom aimed directly at my head. I'm pretty sure that I have brain damage by now. Who needs those hour long morning workouts he speaks of in his blog? I may not have abs of steel but I sure don't need to do a kegal. 3 hours of holding your pee is like kegals on steroids. Anyway, so I head directly to the kitchen to fix Ainsley a cup, make her some breakfast and administer her morning meds. Simple right? Ha Ha. The cup is easy. Breakfast..that's 20 minutes of do you want (insert every breakfast food known to man) followed by "No, want dot dog" (hot dog). After finally convincing her to eat anything other than a hot dog we move on to the meds. The meds that she takes every single morning. The 1 ml of liquid that takes me 15 minutes of begging, fighting and wrestling to get into her face. Finally, breakfast and meds are over. I can go pee! Not..it's time to rock. We must rock and watch Sponge Bob. The same episode of Sponge Bob on repeat for the next hour. Fast forward to 90 minutes later and Ainsley is ready to begin the day.
By now it's 10-11. Crap, time to start thinking about lunch. Still..no pee or brushed teeth. Certainly no chance to put on real clothes and lose the pajamas. Ains gets up and decides what she wants to spend the rest of the morning doing. Playing games on the tablet, laptop, reading, toys, etc..it depends on her mood for the day. I finally get to pee and if I am lucky brush my teeth. If I hurry really really fast I may get the coffee started. It's about time for lunch now and I ask what do you want to eat for lunch and I hear "I want dot dog"(hot dog). If I ever see another hot dog I will puke..just the sight of a hot dog makes me sick. Sometimes we take the easy road and I make her a few hot dogs (usually 5-6 hot dogs) and other days I try to reason with her and tell her that she can't have hot dogs for every meal every day. That's not pretty. This triggers 45-60 minutes of screaming/kicking/fighting meltdown. FINALLY she decides she will eat something.
Most parents use meal time to accomplish some cleaning. Nope, Ainsley will only eat sitting in my lap. So..we fix a plate and sit down for lunch. (Still haven't actually gotten a cup of coffee yet) Lunch is over and Ainsley says "want to rock"..so we rock and watch Sponge Bob..again..the exact same episode.. We are getting close to 2:00 by now. Time to get some clothes on and head to parent pick up. 2 kids, 2 separate schools. Leave at 2:15, get home around 3:30. Now all 3 kids are hungry so it's snack time. That takes about 30 minutes. Ainsley will usually go play with the other kids for about an hour and that is when I get to run around like a crazy person and pick up the house and do some cleaning. Usually when I am right in the middle of something I hear "want to rock" so I drop what I am doing and we go rock..and watch Sponge Bob..still the same episode on repeat.
Usually Brandon is getting home around this time. No hot meal prepared, no clean house, no homework done, no wife dressed with makeup on...just a destroyed house, kids needing help and a wife that has nothing to discuss but what Mr Krabs bought Pearl for her birthday.
The husband comes home and either takes over the kids or fixes dinner. Yes, I know..he worked hard all day while I had brunch with my mom friends and then he cooks dinner. Oh wait, I haven't had brunch with my friends..I haven't even had breakfast yet. So, someone cooks, someone helps the others with homework and we both try to distract Ains so she will stop screaming because she wants to rock. Then we have dinner, baths, stories, bedtime. Now it's around 9 or so. Kids are in bed and I go make snack for the next day, clean up dinner, pick up the house, throw a load of laundry on and if I am lucky get to jump into the shower. Hit the bed around 11-12 and sleep until around 1-3 when a slap to the face lets me know that Ains is awake and wants to get in the bed.
Ainsley had PDD-NOS and I know that our day is not the average stay at home mom's day. I love that I am able to be at home with her everyday, no matter how bad our day goes and that I am able to work with her each day and that we have a routine that helps her process the day better. Maybe this blogger should come spend a day at my house before he gets married and has kids.
In response to his comments, I understand that my husband works all day and has stress associated with his job. I understand that he has a long commute and has to deal with traffic, deadlines and all kinds of work related issues that I don't. I also know that my day isn't filled with lattes, brunch with friends, an hour at the gym or shopping dates with my friends. I work..I may not get a paycheck but I do work. I have stress related to work. Some days, after hours of Ainsley meltdowns, I think that I had a harder day than Brandon did, even though I don't have a "job".
I'm lucky. Brandon understands how days around here go and he doesn't mind helping out. He doesn't expect to walk in to a spotless house everyday with dinner ready, homework finished and kids that have already had baths. He has said, on many occasions, that my job is harder than his and he means it. He often says he would have lost his mind a long time ago if he had to do what I do. I'm not bragging..I'm simply trying to prove my point..stay at home moms work, and it's not always easy work. I'm sure there are stay at home moms that are trophy wives. That have a nanny, a maid and a cook but that isn't the normal SAHM. The average SAHM works her ass off and gets no credit for it. She constantly feels the need to defend herself against the idea that we are lazy.
I'm not complaining. I'm not miserable or even unhappy being at home with Ains. I may not leave the house some days but trust me, I work and the stress related to my job is real and sometimes even more than that of people that do work. I'm not saying that I have it harder than any working mothers, I am simply saying that being a stay at home mom isn't always as easy as people like to make it.